Tag Archives: Philadelphia Restaurant consulting

Philadelphia Hospitality Industry Marketing Advice

26 Sep

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Promotional Marketing Master Pieces Are No Accident

By Stu Leventhal

Restaurant Promotion, advertising and marketing ideas are a dime a dozen. New methods and strategies of the best food and beverage marketers are hardly a secret for long since they require publicity to work. Once a new technique of promoting a hospitality venture is put into use everyone in the hospitality marketing and ad industries know about it fast. Copying a marketing genius’s promotional tactic would seem quite easy yet cloned marketing campaigns never seem to reach their peaks like the original ideas. This is because a lot more goes into the planning of a promotional master piece than is apparent. After all, the final goal is to make the piece appear as smooth, unforced and unpretentious as possible and this takes tact.

We are all familiar with those exciting times when funny, controversial or suspenseful and dramatic postings online get delightfully and un-expectantly embraced by the public then virally shared at hyper speed through all the social media platforms and thus catapulted into instant stardom and the promotional hall of fame. Duplicating those phenomena, leveraging the advertisement value of that mass promotional mania and creating word of mouth frenzy is what marketers have been attempting to do for thousands of years.

Great promotional campaigns are tailored to leverage to the max everything already going good concerning a company’s situation while negating everything that is negatively damaging the company rep in their perceived public’s eye. Thus what appears at first glance to be simply a cute and clever idea dreamed up by a marketer with a keen imagination is really a thoroughly researched and decisively planned campaign that has been carefully crafted then tested and honed then tested and reworked again and again.

Promotional master pieces are custom designed per project to touch the emotions of a specific audience and achieve a particular intended response. Attempts to clone promotional ideas are short cuts that result in the marketing strategy losing its spunky edge. Unique marketing tactics are created with accomplishing the exact specific goals of one company in mind. Powerfully performing campaigns are thoroughly prepared so they instantly grasp the attention of their targets. Promotional master pieces cannot hope to command their audience’s attention for long by rehashing old, over played, boring, borrowed and cloned marketing ideas of past campaigns no matter how successful they were since innovativeness and suave is a prime ingredient of the successful marketing piece recipe.

Today’s public does not have the time or patience to pay attention long to anything that does not have real value you can sink your teeth into. Things have to be truly cutting edge and pure quality if you expect people to go out of their way to talk them up to friends, family and coworkers. Anything less gets left in the dust.

The lack of predictability of promotional methods has miffed hospitality marketing professionals and the hospitality industry’s business experts for centuries, giving advertising and promotion as a whole a stigma of unreliability as well as a mystique to its successful Masters.

This phenomenal, overwhelming, negative and skeptical impression towards marketing, advertising and promotions has been attributed in part to the many complications of human nature itself. Meaning, since humans are for the most part very unpredictable and their motives are often difficult to understand then selling and pitching to people will always be just as unpredictable and unreliable. This myth that successful marketing is just a crap shoot, mostly luck and never ever a guarantee is reinforced by the Psychiatric fields who perpetuate the mysteries of understanding the complex human mind and predicting peoples’ behavior as being quite more complex than it needs to be! Even powerful governments plead ignorance of being able to decipher to a T what the people want!

Thus, many restaurants, bars and hospitality entertainment organizations conclude their marketing strategies and promotional department’s to be a smaller less significant factor of their business’s success or failure than their other departments such as production, product development and even human resources. These companies go on to delegate and commit less of a budget to their promotional futures and neglect their marketing efforts and divisions. This is the biggest mistake in business management today! Spending your efforts, time and money on cutting costs, coming up with innovative ideas, hiring or firing key employees, making changes to products and services or making any other major business decision without considering all the marketing implications will most likely result in counter productivity, loss of revenues and most importantly misused, valuable and irreplaceable time.

Marketing when done properly is the premier force of any hospitality business’s growth and development, expansion or change. No other department has anywhere near the influence on a business’s future than a properly run marketing department. Businesses, especially hospitality businesses, fail miserable when they do not consult their marketers before they make vital decisions. New products and services should never be considered without a proper market analysis. The new product division does not bring new ideas to the marketing department! The marketing department informs the new product division what they should be developing and working on based on their in-depth understanding of what the customers are looking for and where the potential opportunities exist for more sales.

Through marketing analysis one concludes what tweaks to make to their current products to make them more competitive, which products should be considered for replacement and which products should be prioritized for extra advertising and promotion. Pricing should always be done through the marketing department! Marketing tells you which of your other departments are producing to their potential and what departments are under producing. Through your marketing efforts and analysis you realize what direction the company needs to move in and where your priorities should be placed. Everything business wise has to be coordinated around your marketing campaigns to get maximum sales and revenue results.

Most of the cleverest promotion schemes work rarely on their own accord but that does not mean they are not good tactics. The real secret for business sales building success is in understanding and accepting that effective marketing rarely happens in a vacuum, meaning a single campaign like a radio ad is never responsible entirely for its own successes. Real profit producing mechanisms have to be coordinated to work with every aspect of a business to be successful. A company’s standing in the market place has to be considered as well as its customers’ perceptions of its products and services. What the company’s competitors are up to needs to be factored in. Technological advancements must be leveraged. A company’s past history good or bad must be incorporated into the scheme of things as marketing efforts attempt to move the company forward. The company’s perceived personality, outside factors like the current economic or political situation and a whole slew of other factors must all be taken into account.

The truth is every restaurant, bar, club or entertainment business is unique, their neighborhoods are unique, their clientele are unique, their staff is unique, their challenges and situations are unique and thus their marketing plan should be custom tailored to meet their specific special needs.

If you are confused about marketing and its role in guiding all your major business decisions or if you need some help setting up or managing your Philadelphia area hospitality company’s promotional strategy so it is coordinated to work with all your other business efforts and conforms to what is happening in your market place plus takes advantage of your Philly neighborhoods trends, contact Philadelphia Restaurant Consultant: anewtale191@live.com

*We will be happy to help you set up a clear, concise, fruitful and achievable company vision plan.

We can manage your roll out, implement your crew training and be there for you every step of the way!

Good Old Fashioned Restaurant Management

14 Aug

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Common Sense Restaurant Management

By Stu Leventhal

Restaurants have been around for thousands of years. Undoubtedly there has always been good ones and bad ones. With all the modern conveniences the basics of how a customer judges, rates and recommends his favorite food or watering hole has not changed at all.

Good restaurant management is about creating an oasis for you customers so they can escape from their problems and worries, stop and rest along their journeys and be pampered! It has little to do with providing a square meal for a square price. If you are not focused on creating a constant and reliable ambiance that your customers can rely upon through thick and thin then you are in the wrong business.

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Your customers, especially regulars become your extended family. And, family members can be a pain in the butt. There will be times when you have no patience to listen to another sad story but hey remember there’s probably another deli across town that can make a Corned Beef Rueben just as good as your sandwich maker.

If you wish to build a strong restaurant business, think about the hit TV show Cheers. The characters came to the bar to Socialize not to get drunk. The shows revolved around them all sharing pieces of their hectic and often unusual happenings in their lives away from the bar with all their friends at the bar. The banter between the employees and the guests was informal to say the least. Yet, it seemed like every corner bar in every neighborhood across America. Do you encourage your servers to engage their customers like Sam, Carla and Woody do? And how about yourself? Do you converse like Coach, Rebecca and Diane did? Or, are your customers scared to call you over to discuss a problem with their meals?

Of course the food has to be top notch! But that’s a gimme! Everyone should expect; quality food, made from the best ingredients, under sanitary and food safe conditions, served up timely with a smile! There is a lot of competition out there. If your goal is to build repeat business, you have to do more than what’s average.

There are plenty of places selling good burgers yet everyone knows which burger joint is considered the best in town. Most of the time it is the place that is the most fun to dine at too!

Of course you know that there is a common belief that if one sends back their plate because their meal wasn’t prepared to their liking, the people in the kitchen will spit in their food or do something even worse. For that reason, many diners will suffer through an unsatisfying meal rather than complain. This is why it is absolutely required for the manager to be visible on the dining floor 90% of the time the restaurant is open for business.

Your job is to act like the host who is throwing a big party. You float around making sure everyone is having a good time and the service and food is perfect. You mingle, schmooze and entertain. You act concerned when you detect something is bothering a guest and over joyed to see them even when you are run down and feel a cold coming on. Behind the scenes you manage food costs, waste and spoilage, place orders, take inventory and forever push you’re your staff for more productivity. Are you overwhelmed yet just reading about all your responsibilities? Cause there are more…

Keeping peace among the ranks is a full time job in itself. Interviewing, hiring, training disciplining, coaching and encouraging all fall on your shoulders. And, you are also responsible for budgeting marketing funds, building sales, showing a profit and keeping accurate records of every aspect of the business so you can report to higher ups, owners and stock holders. Yes, it can be a bit of a juggling act but the one area that can never be sacrificed or put second is your dining room presence! You must be aware of what is going on with your customers!

A good manager knows when he’s been in the back office too long, on the phone too long, in a meeting too long, checking in the truck order at the loading dock too long! The business of good restaurant management is being hands on, out on the floor, directing and helping to enhance your crew’s efforts to please the guests. As long as guests are having a good time they will forgive anything. No matter what goes wrong, if they are having fun they will shout your praise and tell all their friends for years to come about your extra efforts and the great time they had!

Good word of mouth is still the best advertising! We are living in the age of the super, digital, virtual, highway and a bad or good tweet or text is only a click away with a cell phone.

Need some Philadelphia tailored restaurant consulting? Email us at anewtale191@live.com our expert Philadelphia restaurant consultants will be happy to assist you!

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RESTAURANT P&L, BUDGETS, MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTABILITY!

17 Jul

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Good Restaurant Management Means Managing the Bottom Line!

By Stu Leventhal

Chefs, managers, shift managers, owners; don’t we all hate the subjects of accounting. Number crunching for people who proclaim themselves creative food and drink artisans is like receiving a cold, wake up, slap across our face! There are two areas that great restaurant key employees excel at; back of the house culinary wizardry and/or front of the house hospitality. Both jobs command a hands-on attitude with one’s personal presence being physically where the action is! People don’t go into the restaurant business because they envision themselves someday hanging out in their plush back office talking on the phone with their feet up on the desk. Restaurant management is a commitment to a life style where one is partially married to the restaurant. It is not a nine to five, 5 days a week, profession. You work over fifty hours on average, rarely take a weekend off or a holiday and key personnel are always on call!

Restaurant managers take pride in creating culinary delights and hosting pleasurable experiences for their guests. We aren’t bookkeepers! We judge our success by the smiles on our guests’ faces and the size of the line at the door waiting for a seat! If we wanted to crunch numbers we’d have gotten a job in a bank! Yes, I get all that but still, periodically you will have to answer to the numbers! Monthly numbers, quarterly numbers, yearly numbers… I’m afraid to mention, shift numbers, daily and weekly numbers too! And then we can break things down to departmental number! And individual staff member’s numbers…Ouch!….yuck!….Cough!

If you don’t keep track of how much money you’re restaurant is making, you have no idea whether your business is successful or not. You can’t tell how well your marketing is working. And I don’t just mean you should know the amount of your total sales or gross revenue. You need to know what your net profit is and exactly where in your restaurant it is coming from. If you don’t, there’s no way you can know how to increase it. Heck, you may have a problem with spoilage due to over ordering that can be solved simply by placing smaller orders to be delivered more frequently. You may be over staffing Wednesday nights and you aren’t aware of it because Wednesdays were much busier last year. But, this year the movie theater down the block has implemented an early bird half price movie special that is cutting down your normally high, dinner rush traffic. When you notice the gradual loss of customers on your reports, you can look into the cause immediately and start counter actions. Like, offering an after movie late night snack discount to take advantage of the audience restlessness once the movie lets out!

If you want your restaurant, catering or entertainment business to be successful, you need to make a financial plan, including a budget and check it against the facts on a monthly basis then take immediate action to correct any problems. That is the minimum!

This report covers the minimum basic steps you should take to start monitoring your bottom line NOW! Remember, how successful you are at managing your bottom line is the ultimate factor that will determine your salary potential. Even if you are the owner, you can’t take out more than the restaurant can afford to give you. The bottom line affects everyone’s salary. It determines if you can remodel, purchase new equipment or afford to higher that genius young Chef from Paris. If you are to have a long career in the restaurant business you need to get in the habit of reading your financial reports and managing accordingly. Upper management will at some point, also expect you to talk the talk, meaning when you present your brilliant ideas, you need to project numbers and state facts or the big wigs won’t pay you any attention.

It will show your professionalism and go a long way to building your authority and credibility once you get in the habit of backing up your vague statements at meetings with proof. For example “Well colleagues, sales are up on Thursday Nights, I contribute that to the new exotic drink menu we rolled out at the beginning of the month. Congratulations Shirl, it seems the customers love your new island rum flavored umbrella fruit drinks. I apologize for my skepticism when you first brought the idea up last meeting. You truly are a genius Mixologist and we’re all thankful to have you on board. On the bad side, Saturday’s breakfast business is declining. We need to focus on finding out why and then reversing this trend. We are going through too much salmon according to our reports on how many salmon dishes we sell. That may indicate we have a salmon loving thief but let’s not jump to conclusions yet. It’s all backed up in the reports I’ve laid in front of each of you. I’ll give you a moment to look over the reports then we’ll start our discussion on how we shall proceed to build up our bottom line this coming month.”

Good restaurant management decisions are not winged or based on gut feelings they are determined by facts and figures!

The first step to getting a handle on managing your restaurant’s bottom line is to create a comprehensive financial plan for your restaurant or catering operation. Estimate how much revenue you expect to bring in each month, and project what your expenses will be.

* Remember that lost profits can’t be recovered! Lots of well-meaning entrepreneurs compare their projections to reality and find earnings too low and/or expenses too high then shrug and conclude, “I’ll make it up later.” The problem is that you really can’t make it up later. Every month that your restaurant’s profits are too low is a month that is gone forever!

* The restaurant business is very competitive. You have to be able to make adjustments right away. If revenues are lower than expected, increase efforts in sales and marketing or look for ways to increase your rates or get better deals with lower prices on your purchases. If overhead costs are too high, find ways to cut back. There are other businesses like yours around, some in the restaurant business, and some not. Study other business models. Can you figure out what their secrets are for operating profitably?

* Think before you spend. When considering any new business expense, including marketing and sales activities, evaluate the increased earnings you expect to bring in against its cost before you proceed to make a purchase.

*Once you’ve mastered the basic restaurant’s overall financial plan, your next step will be to break things down further by each department. Follow a similar fashion to the larger, less specific financial plan of your whole restaurant which we just went over. Again, estimate how much revenue you expect each department to make and how much you expect each to have in expenses.

*Depending on the size of your restaurant, you may need to break each department down even more specifically. Follow the same format. The more you break it down, the more exact you will know what is making you money and what is costing you money. Now managing decisions become a piece of cake! A walk in the park! And as far from guess work as you can get!

RESTAURANT PROFIT S VERSES RESTAURANT REVENUE!

Always evaluate the success of your restaurant based on profit, not revenue. It doesn’t matter how many thousands of dollars you are bringing in each month if your expenses are almost as high, or higher. Many high-revenue restaurants have gone under for this very reason… Don’t be one of them!

As always if you need some restaurant related management advice leave a comment or question. I’ll get you an answer.

If your restaurant problems are more severe ask us for a Philadelphia Restaurant Consultant, PRICE QUOTE they are always confidential.

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Don’t forget to check all the fine advice for building up your catering sales at:

http://www.cateringsalestips.wordpress.com

Catering is a market share every restaurant should explore grabbing a piece of!

Need some website copy written that actually brings you customers:

http://www.anewtale.com/services/

Regards,

Stu

PS. I know by your flattering comments that a lot of you have been itching to read another one of my fiction tales. I’m happy to announce, HIGH SEA by Stu Leventhal is now live at Amazon Kindle! Here’s a direct link! I don’t want to ruin the read for you so I’ll just leave you the links to the two entertaining Kindle Youtube book trailers:

http://youtu.be/mvMIK6BJkXg

http://youtu.be/R3NICAjPOZ4

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I’m looking forward to hearing all your critiques. Do you like that cover?

Choosing an SEO Marketer

4 May

By Stu Leventhal

SEO and SEM is tricky stuff. Having a great website is only the beginning. The next important step is Optimizing your website so people can find you. The internet is a complicated weave of people, companies and organizations sharing information and thoughts. Everyone is competing for each-others’ attention. New fads become popular daily as well as new technological advances. One day your website is ranking first page in the Google, Yahoo and Bing searches, the next day your website is nowhere to be found.

It is no wonder restaurant owners and managers are pulling their hair out when it comes to maintaining their online marketing campaigns. It takes a very big person to admit when they are in over their head. Being embarrassed to ask for help with search engine marketing can be the death of your career or business in 2014. Picking the wrong SEO/SEM service can cost you a lot of money, aggravation and wasted time. Philadelphia Restaurant Consultant is one of the best Philadelphia Search Engine Optimization and internet marketing firms in the Philadelphia Arena. Let’s look at why Philadelphia Restaurant Consultant’s style of approaching internet marketing is so successful.

Philadelphia Restaurant Consultant Knows How to Grow Your Hospitality Business!

We write articles that engage Philadelphians! Relevant food and beverage articles that get your customers’ mouths watering! SEO Keyword Optimized articles to move your web real estate to the first page of Google Searches and attract interested local readers!

Internet Traffic Cop

INTERNET TRAFFIC COP!

We have been packing restaurants and bars in Philadelphia and the surrounding area with crowds for years!

*They key is to tailor your promotional events and marketing pieces to the particular Philly neighborhood you do business in. Each area of Philadelphia has a unique persona and her residents have a particular personality with certain likes and dislikes. Blanket marketing just is not as effective in Philly as specialized GEO targeted marketing.

We Are Experts In: Internet Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Content, Hospitality Industry Promotion, Website Design and Maintenance, Reputation Management and much more. Contact us for a free consultation: anewtale191@live.com